I use the National Student Clearinghouse individual detail return file and SPSS syntax in this video to capture the first school attended for students who were admitted to my institution, but who did not enroll (names listed are not real applicants). In a future video, I’ll work on the same project using the aggregate report. I almost always use the individual detail return file since it provides so much information, but it does have a limitation that impacts this project.
If a school or student blocks records, they will appear in the aggregate report, but they will not appear in the individual detail return file. Some schools block the individual records (although they can still provide graduation information). So, if a lot of your admitted students do enroll at one of these schools, you might decide to use the aggregate report. However, the individual detail file provides more information, which allows for more flexibility.
Also keep in mind: if you are working with multiple years, those in earlier years have had a longer time to attend school as the National Student Clearinghouse will run the records up to the date that they run the file. You may want to review the earliest enrollment dates by year; if nearly all of your admit/not enrolls attend school shortly after their admit cohort term, you may be fine, but if you see a large percentage attending school for the first time years after they were admitted to your institution, you may want to cut records after a particular date before unduplicating (while I don’t review those steps in this video, I will detail them in a future post).
This syntax opens in a txt document; simply copy/paste all into a SPSS syntax file and run.